First group of craftsmen set to leave for Diwali Utsav beginning from Oct 30
STATE TIMES NEWS
SRINAGAR: After successful participation of craft entrepreneurs and exporters in virtual fairs amidst stringent Covid-19 lockdowns, the artisans and weavers from Kashmir shall get their first opportunity to participate in physical fairs outside the J&K UT for selling their exotic range of hand-made products during the Diwali Utsav beginning at Noida Haat from October 30 to November 14.The festival season has come as a shot in the arm for the handicrafts and handloom sector with artisans expected to sell their new range of products like Kani and Pashmina shawls, stoles, embroidered lady pherans, papier machie items, crewel and chain-stitch, rugs and carpets directly to the customers during the 14-day fair.The handicraft industry of Jammu and Kashmir, which has an assured international market, has been severely hit with swelling unsold inventory of products which failed to reach overseas destinations due to suspension of air, rail and road traffic amidst Covid-19 restrictions.In a press statement issued here today, the Handicrafts and Handloom Department, Kashmir, stated that as many as 40 artisans and weavers were picked from the draw of lots after a large number of applications were received from interested participants. While the first batch of these artisans shall participate in Diwali Utsav from October 30, the second batch shall participate in Shilp Utsav from December 17 to 27, coinciding with Christmas and New Year celebrations.Two teams of officials from the Handicrafts and Handloom Department will also be deputed to Noida to facilitate and handhold the participants, the statement added.In a major relief to artisans and weavers, the Government has decided to bear the cost of stall rentals at Noida Haat on behalf of the participants in a bid to provide them an opportunity to revive their businesses. Earlier also, the Government had borne the participation fee on behalf of craft exporters and entrepreneurs in 49th IHGF Delhi Fair and 13th India Carpet Expo which were held in virtual mode by EPCH and CEPC respectively. The organizers at Noida Haat have stated that they have taken all possible steps to meet safety and hygiene standards to ensure a safe and sanitized environment for the participants and visitors.In order to increase footfall of visitors, food outlets, cultural activities, gaming and entertainment zones will also be arranged during the exhibitions.
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